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RFA Mounts Bay proves a hit at Netherlands Navy Days celebrations

15 July 2022
A Royal Navy support ship proved to be one of the star attractions during Royal Netherlands Navy celebrations in Den Helder – welcoming more than 4,000 visitors aboard.

RFA Mounts Bay is in the Netherlands alongside Royal Marines from 47 Commando to sharpen raiding and amphibious warfare skills alongside Dutch allies.

While on the aptly named Exercise Green Tulip – during which expert Royal Marines are honing skills needed to mount seaborne raids/assaults on coastlines – Mounts Bay and the commandos took part in festivities marking the Netherlands’ Navy Days.

Across a weekend of celebrations, 100,000 visitors came to Den Helder – the largest naval base in the Netherlands – to show how the Royal Netherlands Navy works and celebrate its work, much like the UK’s Armed Forces Day that took place last month. 

Mounts Bay was a hugely popular attraction, with queues lining the dockside to get on board. She also acted as floating television studio for the live broadcast of events. 

Royal Marines were involved in a lively beach landing demonstration alongside their Korps Mariniers comrades, tearing into harbour between Dutch amphibious ship HNLMS Karel Doorman and Mounts Bay.

The marines used landing and raiding craft, firing heavy machine guns as they approached, before offloading Viking armoured vehicles in front of the assembled crowd.

“RFA Mounts Bay provided the ‘best view in Den Helder’ from our 35m high bridge and quickly became the most popular ship at Navy Days,” said Captain Ali Clack RFA, Mounts Bay’s commanding officer.

“Supported by 47 Commando, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship’s company hosted over 4,000 visitors over the weekend to view our landing craft, firefighting and navigation bridge equipment demonstrations.”

Cadet Alexandra Knight added: “It’s great for someone who has newly joined to see the partnership between the nations. It’s been a really fantastic experience.”

Mounts Bay and 47 Commando are now on exercises alongside Dutch counterparts that will enhance the two nations’ ability to work together.

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